Integrating Conversational Agents and Learning Analytics in MOOCs (colMOOC)

Description

Higher Education Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) introduce a way of transcending formal higher education by realizing technology-enhanced formats of learning and instruction and by granting access to an audience way beyond students enrolled in any one Higher Education Institution.

The potential for European HEIs to scale up and reach an international audience of diverse backgrounds has not been realized yet. Although MOOCs have been reported as an efficient and important educational tool, there is a number of issues and problems related to the educational aspect. More specifically, there is an important number of drop outs during a course, little participation, and lack of students’ motivation and engagement overall. This may be due to one-size-fits-all instructional approaches and very limited commitment to student-student and teacher-student collaboration.

Aim

Our project aims to enhance the MOOCs experience by integrating:

  • Collaborative settings based on Conversational Agents (CA) both in synchronous and asynchronous collaboration conditions
  • Screening methods based on Learning Analytics (LA) to support both students and teachers during a MOOC course
  • Reinforce European leadership by forming recommendations and policy guidelines

Conversational pedagogical agents guide and support student dialogue using natural language both in individual and collaborative settings. Conversational agents have been produced to meet a wide variety of applications and studies exploring the usage of such agents have led to positive results.

Integrating this type of conversational agents into MOOCs to trigger peer interaction in discussion groups is expected to considerably increase the engagement and the commitment of online students (and, consequently, reduce MOOCs dropout rate).

Moreover, this project will use learning analytics techniques, as a method to support teachers’ orchestration and students’ learning during MOOCs by evaluating students' interaction and participation.

Partnership

  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece
  • Certh, Greece
  • Gunet (CU), Greece
  • University of Valladolid (UVA), Spain
  • Open University of Catalunia (UOC), Spain
  • Telefonica Education Digital (TE), Spain
  • Saarland University (SU), Germany
  • Learnworlds (LW), United Kingdom
  • Aarhus University (AU), Denmark

Duration

1 January 2018 - 31 December 2020

The project is co-financed by Erasmus+